Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 3413–3421 | Cite as

Telehealth applied to physical activity during cancer treatment: a feasibility, acceptability, and randomized pilot study

  • Charlène Villaron
  • François Cury
  • François Eisinger
  • Maria-A Cappiello
  • Tanguy Marqueste
Original Article



Previous studies have underlined the benefits of exercise during cancer therapy. However, patients are insufficiently active during treatment. Telehealth is used to encourage people to be active, reducing difficulties and offsetting the lack of infrastructure often reported. We aimed to identify the effects of recommendations and telehealth on the level of physical activity, fatigue, and quality of life.


Sixty patients suffering from various cancers under treatment were randomized into two groups. Every Sunday, they had to complete online questionnaires: number of steps, MFI-20, and EORTC-QLQ-30. Group R (recommendations) was given encouragement to improve physical activity during 8 weeks, using a recommendation guide, and received a weekly SMS text message for exercise promotion. Group C, without recommendations, was the control group.


Two-way ANOVAs for repeated measures did not reveal effect on the number of steps walked over time; however, the results indicated a beneficial effect for group R related to self-reported fatigue (F = 2.686, p = .01) and quality of life (F = 2.431, p = .02).


Surprisingly, the level of exercise in group R did not significantly increase, but self-reported fatigue and quality of life were improved. This study underlines that inexpensive sharing of time, human, and financial means, through a protocol of physical activity, improves patient health.


Exercise Telemedicine Quality of life Fatigue Physical activity 



This research was supported by Laboratoire ROCHE (Ph.D Grant of C. Villaron), IPC (SIRIC–INCa–DGOS–Inserm 6038) and the Aix-Marseille University Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aix-Marseille University, ISM UMR 7287-CNRS, Faculté des Sciences du SportMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Toulon UniversityLa GardeFrance
  3. 3.Department of Medical OncologyInstitut Paoli-CalmettesMarseilleFrance

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